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Bad weather heralds ‘second shot at opening weekend'

Bad weather heralds ‘second shot at opening weekend'

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – Lower North Island duck hunters are getting set for a “second shot at Opening Weekend” with good shooting weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

“Conditions last weekend – the start of the season – certainly favoured the ducks with blue skies and settled weather,” says Wellington Fish & Game communications officer Hamish Carnachan.

“Hunters were generally still happy and most parties had a few ducks, but this weekend we have much better weather with wind and rain forecast which should move the birds around.

“We know there’ll be a good turnout again on Saturday and Sunday as many hunters are planning to make the most of these conditions – you could say it’s shaping up to be a second shot at Opening.”

Teams of rangers and Police were out in force in the Wellington Fish & Game region last weekend and they generally observed good levels of compliance.

Another positive was the noticeable increase in numbers of ducks around, which bodes well for the remainder of the season.

“Ranging teams, and the hunters they spoke to on Opening Weekend, were enthused about the number of ducks observed ahead of the season and on ponds that weren’t being shot last Saturday and Sunday. After several years it’s hoped that we’ve turned a corner and more liberal conditions might be in play next year.

“That sentiment seems to be echoed in the hunting community, so it’s little wonder they’re planning to make the most of good duck numbers and favourable shooting conditions this weekend.”

Mr Carnachan says a strong ranging effort will continue throughout the six-week game bird hunting season in the region.

“Four shotguns were seized last weekend from hunters either shooting without a licence or using lead shot near water.

“Not only did they have their Opening Weekend ruined by having their firearms confiscated, but they’ll likely be handed heavy fines for breaking the law too.

“When you consider the cost of the offending against the price of a licence, it’s pretty stupid really. These guys obviously thought they wouldn’t get caught – they now know that was a very expensive mistake to make.”


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